This reflection is an update from my previous one and a marker to see where I have improved and what I have done since writing my last reflection to today in order to help achieve progression. As mentioned before both maths and chemistry play an important part in the fundamentals module and it is key to have a good foundation in both these subjects, and to use this a foundation to build from in further studies and more complex modules at uni.
In my last reflection I mentioned that my weak spot in the maths side of things was the calculations. I remember at the beginning of the module I struggled with some of the maths calculations and problems because they seemed complex and I had not used my maths skills for over two years before hand. Some of the calculations confused me and I did not know where to start. This was because of the layout of the questions and because I had not seen any questions like this before or had to solve them in the past. To help myself understand the maths calculations and try to be able to solve them easily I used a book called “core maths for the biosciences” (Reed, 2011) This book was recommended by the teachers I class and was also available on loan in the university library. I found it useful as it had maths problem in it which were then explained and broken-down step by step. This gave me an understanding of how to tackle and solve problems that are given to me in class in the future.
In the last semester I have learnt not to be disheartened or become negative if I can’t solve a question, but instead to come away from it; have a break and put my mind a rest and them come back to the same thing with a different strategy and in a new light. This is because people get so overworked over solving a problem they get frustrated and use them same strategy time and time again even though it wont work. (McLeod, 1989)
Chemistry was one of my weak spots during the begging of the first semester because I had not done any work on it since my gcse level studies at school and even then, found it more challenging because of its in-depth nature. If we look back at my first reflective piece we can see that I found it very daunting at first and struggled with the molecular and bonding sides of chemistry. I mentioned I wanted to spend some time doing personal studies around this area to try and get myself up to scratch and ready for when things progressed in the module. Since writing my last reflective piece I have managed to use some of my time to study and try and learn more around lessons to become more comfortable in myself. Again, like the maths a good book was mention and recommended by the teachers for learning and self-teaching chemistry for this module. The book was available at the uni library for loan. I found it useful as it very good illustrated pictures which helped me to understand things better seeing it in this light. Molecular chemistry was explained nicely and bodning too, it was all broke down into bitesize pieces which helped me understand it better when next mentioned in class. (Crowe and Bradshaw, 2014)
Although I had a good book and found some good websites I could use for my personal studies on chemistry I found that I was not very good at time management and would always delay and avoid doing any studies in this area. I looked up ways to control and set up a time management programme in order to sort resolve this issue and hopefully improve my studies. I set aside scheduled slots of time for certain things and made sure when I was studying I was away from distractions and in the right frame of mind. There is no point going to study when you are stressed over tired or when your glued to your favourite series or social media. (PsycNET Record Display, 1990)
Looking back over the last semester I can see how I have improved in both maths and chemistry. I have been able to solve maths problems very quickly and easily by then end of the semester which I would have previously struggled with. Now I know not to overthink the problems when I first see them, and I can figure out where to start in solving the problem and what calculations to use; I m now confident and have little issues with my maths skills for this level of my studies in my course. Looking back at my chemistry progression I can also see an improvement, I no longer seem to daunt it and feel a lot more comfortable with it. Using my free time to pick up my weakness in this has benefited me and using time management plan has allowed me to put more time aside for studding and allowed to me to explore my potential.
Targets for the future are:
- to continue with personal studies and try to find more in-depth resources rather than just the books mentioned in class or basic websites.
- To continue using time management plan and excel in self-taught things
- To try and maximise my studying and read up before classes so as to be ahead and maxims learning in class
- To continue solving maths calculations so as not to challenge myself become rusty in the future and start over again.
Crowe, J. and Bradshaw, T. (2014) Chemistry for the biosciences: the essential concepts.
McLeod, D. B. (1989) ‘The Role of Affect in Mathematical Problem Solving.’ In Affect and Mathematical Problem Solving. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 20–36.
PsycNET Record Display – PsycNET (1990). [Online] [Accessed on 10th January 2018] /record/1991-13852-001.
Reed, M. B. (2011) core maths for the biosciences.